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US industrial production fell 0.5 percent in February, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. It was the sharpest decline in four months and a much steeper drop-off than economists had forecast. In an encouraging development, the Commerce Department said the US current account deficit, the broadest measure of trade, shrank 9 percent from an all-time high of $811.5 billion in 2006 to $738.6 billion last year.

David Paterson took the oath of office as the new governor of New York Monday after his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, made his resignation official following revelations last week that he'd spent tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes. A Democratic state senator since 1985 and the lieutenant governor for the past 14 months, Paterson is New York's first black governor and the nation's first legally blind chief executive to serve for more than a few days.

Officials investigating a deadly construction crane collapse in Manhattan said Sunday the equipment had passed an inspection only the day before the Saturday crash that killed five people and injured dozens. Rescuers continued to search for two more people believed to be trapped inside a demolished town house.

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